Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival
September sees the welcome return of Hastings Seafood & Wine Festival, the first fish festival to be held in Hastings for nearly two years.
Held, as always over the third weekend of September (18th /19th), the event showcases the very best in local seafood, wine, and music. Its location on the Stade open space, in the Hastings’ Old Town, means that we talk about food yards not food miles, as the site is literally on the fishing beach. Less than 100 years ago the festival area was the site of the capstans used to pull the fishing boats up the beach; there are circles cut into the modern surface to replicate the paths worn by the horses as they walked around the capstans. If you have time during your visit, do venture down Rock-a-Nore Road to the Fishermen’s Museum to learn more about the area, the last remaining horse-driven capstan can also be seen there.
Like most things in 2021 the Seafood & Wine Festival will have a slightly different feel to it, and the organisers have worked hard to make sure the event is as safe as it can be. The layout will be slightly different to give more space and prevent congestion, and all surfaces will be cleaned regularly. The entertainment marquee will have no sides this year, to improve ventilation. If it gets too busy, access to the site may need to be restricted temporarily to prevent overcrowding.
The festival will have the popular mix of stalls, with favourites such as Webbe’s likely to prove popular. Harvey’s will again be supplying the beer in the entertainment marquee, and, as always, there will be some great music to listen to, including The Elisha Edwards Band, Rhythm Shack and The Funking Bar Stewards. The ever-popular Liane Carrol will be back on Sunday morning for her inimitable Jazz Breakfast (tickets are £20 adult, £10 children, including a continental breakfast by Judges Bakery, but book fast!).
The Classroom on the Coast, part of Stade Hall, will be the pla(i)ce to be for those wanting to improve their fish cooking skills. Local legend ‘Tush’ Hamilton will be giving talks on Saturday, and CJ Jackson, from Billingsgate Seafood School and of Sunday Brunch fame, will be giving her very popular demonstrations on the Sunday.